As I may have eluded to in several posts and multiple facebook updates, the husband and I took our “bike trip” nearly 2 weeks ago down to the Smoky Mountains on the Tennessee/North Carolina border. Unlike past bike trips, this one included a truck with trailer and bike in tow, as opposed to packing down the mistress with a materials needed for a luxurious dry camping/biking trip, and for that I am eternally grateful.
After 6 hours of driving we were still in BFI (Bum Fuck Illinois)…I believe this was the first moment of my insanity, when I just couldn’t handle seeing one more cornfield. Instead out came my new learning module. Here’s the evidence…
This might be the most exciting thing I’d seen, it just happened to belong to me!
Eventually we made it to my Aunt & Uncle’s house just across the TN border for the night. We were greeted with a wonderful meal waiting for us on the table, and some quality coffee talk time before hitting the sack for the night. We woke up early to see my aunt off for her golf tournament. Apparently we weren’t the only ones to get up. We sat outside for a bit and swarms of hummingbirds (literally dozens) flocked to the feeders for their AM ritual. Now, I should warn you, I’m slightly terrified of big bugs (june bugs, moths, etc) and these are about the size of a big bug except they have really long beaks. I swore I was going to get pelted with their beak, thus for most of the time I was frozen in a state of anxiety with these funky buzzing creatures with long beaks swarming frantically about just inches from my head. Thankfully I had a big camera to protect my face, thus the anxiety eventually subsided. (If you want to enlarge the pictures just double click on the image)
After hanging with the H-birds for a while we headed to the grocery store to stock the cooler. Upon exiting the store we were greeted with the first of 3 days of rainstorms. Driving through Nashville things came to a screeching hault. Sirens quickly sounded and various rescue vehicle jimmy’d their way through the traffic. We could see all the rescue squads about 50 yards in front of us, but we were on a pretty tight bend in the road and up to layer 5 of about 7 interchanges weaving their way through space. After about an hour of staring at this
some “people” had traffic behind us diverting to a nearby exit. We were slowly guided to back up about 200 yards to make our way to the exit. We drove in circle for about an hour on the expressways surrounding Nashville before finding our detoured route. We heard later via radio that a semi had over-turned taking out all 4 lanes of traffic and crews would likely not have it cleaned up until about 2 PM (it was 11 AM), we were very happy for the diversion, but could have done without the time crimp in our schedule.
Needless to say we experienced this off and on (More on than off)
We continued on for the Smoky Mountains, just over the Tennessee border we would be setting up camp for the next few days. What we didn’t realize was that “The Dragon” (which you will hear about more in our next post) stood between us and our campground. This wouldn’t be discovered until we were on it with a fully packed truck and motorcycle in tow. Here’s a glimpse of “The Dragon” via truck, not too many places to turn around with the load we were carrying.
This craziness continued for a while before the heavens opened and the angels sang: North Carolinas arrival was a very happy moment.
Only 72 miles to the next beer stop! No worries, Brent came lock, stocked and barreled with his own cooler full.
Before long we were swindling our way through the loco-locals as we like to call them and finding “home” at Ironhorse campground.
That lodge did not only house us from ongoing rain, but it would also offer us one heck of a prime rib dinner and salad bar upon our arrival. Beats camping food 🙂 So we were glutons and then tried to create a place to call home. I believe this was me updating my facebook about chilling with Adam and Steve (our sleeping bags for you Cabella’s fans) in the Smokey Mountains!
Arriving via truck allowed us to be pretty luxurious in comparison to the folk who came in via bike with very limited resources. We concluded our night by lying ever so comfortably on our plush air mattress, sleeping bags cozy enough to maintain my body temperature in 15 degree weather and the pitter-patter of rain drops. The Swiss Army tent would experience her first of several moist nights…she was quite the trooper.
Stay tuned as this crazy adventure continues 🙂